When it comes to modern plastic surgery, you have options. You no longer have to decide between having an invasive procedure or getting no results at all.
But when it comes to fat reduction, how do you choose the right procedure for your needs? While it might seem best to pursue a non-surgical solution, there are situations that call for a traditional surgical procedure. Here are some tips to help you figure out which body contouring option is best for you.
Body Contouring vs. Weight Loss Surgery
Before we jump into surgical vs. non-surgical fat reduction, it’s important to highlight the difference between cosmetic body contouring and weight loss surgery.
Cosmetic fat reduction isn’t designed to help people lose weight. Instead, it’s intended to put the finishing touches on weight loss or to help people get rid of stubborn fat that has crept up over the years. Whether surgical or non-surgical, fat removal procedures are typically known as “body contouring” treatments, rather than weight loss procedures.
Weight loss surgery often involves restricting a person’s ability to eat large quantities of food and suppressing their appetite via a band around the stomach, rather than removing excess fat directly. This type of surgery is intended to initiate a lifestyle change, rather than to get rid of stubborn fat. Many patients who undergo weight loss surgery, however, end up choosing a body contouring procedure after they’re at or near their goal weight.
The Surgical Option: Liposuction
Liposuction is the most well-known body contouring procedure available. It is consistently one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that provides immediate results by suctioning unwanted fat out through small incisions. Laser or ultrasound energy can be used in conjunction to improve results.
Although liposuction is invasive, it is safe, reliable and reproducible. Patients love the dramatic results they get from liposuction. Recovery is quick and results are immediate.
Many patients are surprised by how quickly they can resume normal activities after liposuction. The procedure typically requires about a week of recovery before patients return to light activity. Strenuous activity and exercise is be postponed for several weeks longer.
The Non-Surgical Option: UltraShape
There are several non-surgical fat reduction options on the market, but one of the most effective is UltraShape, a non-invasive body contouring procedure that uses ultrasound energy to destroy fat cells. A quick, comfortable procedure, UltraShape requires no incisions or anesthesia.
During an UltraShape procedure, a special belt is worn around the treatment area and a transducer delivers ultrasound pulses to the area. This permanently destroys unwanted fat cells beneath the skin. After treatment, the body begins to flush out the unwanted fat cells.
Most patients need three treatments, performed every two weeks. Each session is painless, with many patients describing the experience as pleasant and relaxing. There is no downtime involved, meaning that patients can go back to their everyday activities immediately without restrictions. Patients can expect to lose an average of 2.5 inches after their treatment series.
Factors to Consider
So how do you choose the fat reduction option that’s right for you? There are several factors to consider, including:
1. Your lifestyle
Allowing time for postoperative recovery is important. You must weigh your desire for a speedy recovery with more pronounced results. That is, in general, the more invasive and longer the recovery, the better and more durable result.
2. Your goals and expectations
If you’re expecting dramatic results from your procedure, than traditional liposuction may be a better option. Direct fat removal allows the surgeon much more control over the results, vs. a non-surgical treatment that depends on the body to flush away unwanted cells and may only produce subtle improvement.
3. Your health
Patients must be in good general health for any cosmetic treatment but particularly for procedures requiring the use of anesthesia. Liposuction requires anesthesia.
4. Your skin quality
The skin has the incredible ability to shrink and expand as needed, but it has its limits, especially during rapid fat loss. Once the fat is gone for good, your skin may have trouble shrinking back to fit the new contours. Good skin elasticity will help ensure excellent results from liposuction and a reduced risk for hanging skin. UltraShape, which provides less dramatic results, should not create any sagging skin.
5. Your budget
If you’re on a budget, a non-surgical treatment might make sense, but you’ll also want to think long-term. Surgery may be more costly at the outset, but you may get more bang for your buck in the end. Remember, most surgeons have financing options available to patients. Cost is important, but shouldn’t be your primary consideration when choosing which procedure is right for you.
5. Your surgeon’s advice
In the end, the best person to ask about your treatment options is an board certified plastic surgeon. If you’re still on the fence about whether a surgical or non-surgical body contouring procedure is better for your needs, then it’s a good idea to ask for advice from an expert. A plastic surgeon can evaluate you medically, determine your goals and make a personalized recommendation based on all of your particular traits.
If you’re looking for an expert plastic surgeon in the Naples area, consider making an appointment with Dr. William Ross at the Aesthetic Surgery Center. Dr. Ross offers customized body contouring procedures to suit every patient’s needs. Call (239) 594-9100 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ross in Naples, FL.